Boston Philharmonic Orchestra

Mahler as it is meant to be: Ives and Mahler

Symphony No. 3

19 minutes

Symphony No. 5

68 minutes

Benjamin Zander, conductor


"Mahler as it is meant to be" - The Boston Globe

190426 BPO4- Program Rep

We have placed the Ives Third Symphony on a program with Mahler because just such a conjunction almost took place – Mahler had programmed the premiere of this new (1910) work for the following season of concerts of the New York Philharmonic, a season he did not live to conduct. The symphony is a gentle, contemplative work for chamber orchestra, musing nostalgically at times on old American tunes. It is one of the loveliest of all Ives’s compositions.

After the intimacy of the Ives comes the huge, kaleidoscopic Fifth Symphony of Mahler. This work has always been a special favorite of Mr. Zander’s. Its five movements limn a drama of vast scope and urgency, a kind of tragedy in reverse. It starts in brooding, despair, and death, moves through great anguish, outlandish satire, and the ineffable love-drenched musings of the famous Adagietto, to arrive at a solid, joy-filled, feet-on-the-ground place of optimism and hope. It ends, in fact, with the traditional ending of comedy, a marriage – in this case the marriage of Mahler himself to his beloved Alma. The BPO plays Mahler frequently – one might almost think of him as the house composer – and we all look forward to having him back on the program for 2018-19. For no matter how often we play these great symphonies, they always take us and the audience to someplace new.

Listen to Ives Symphony No. 3 on YouTube

Listen to Mahler Symphony No. 5 performed by the Boston Philharmonic

Listen to Mahler Symphony No. 5 broadcast with Benjamin Zander and Brain Bell

Listen to Mahler Symphony No. 5 Discussion Disc with Benjamin Zander

All dates, repertoire, venues, and artists subject to change.


Friday, April 26, 2019 
8:00PM / Symphony hall
Guide to the music with Benjamin Zander, 6:45pm

Purchase Tickets at Symphony Hall or call 888-266-1200.

Will call- if your ticket is held at will call it will be held under your name, at the box office for you to pick up before the start of the concert.